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Kentucky Senate to vote on sweeping 'anti-LGBTQ' bill Wednesday

Those for the bill say the goal is to protect children from harm
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Posted at 8:15 AM, Mar 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 08:15:43-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky lawmakers are set to vote Wednesday on legislation that bans gender-affirming care for those under 18, bans school teachers from discussing gender identity or sexual orientation with students and forces districts to create bathroom policies for transgender students.

Critics had called a previous version of House Bill 470, which was more narrowly focused, one of the most anti-trans bills in the country. Multiple new elements of the bill have been added since then.

Lawmakers discussed the bill and heard from people on both sides of the issue during a Tuesday committee meeting.

Those for the issue argue the goal is to protect children.

“Parents are demanding and expecting that we have policies in place at the school board level to handle situations of boys and girls in restrooms and locker rooms and shower rooms of that expectation of privacy and also an expectation of safety,” Senator Max Wise said Tuesday.

Speaking against the bill was Dr. Bobbie Glass, a transgender woman who said she’s worked with kids who have killed themselves.

“When Senator Wise says there's no hate in this bill, well I'm telling you, none of us are feeling the love senator,” Glass said. “The relentless bullying, you are legalizing disrespect.”

Opponents have pointed to how a lack of access to gender-affirming care can lead transgender children to die by suicide.

“But this is a suicide myth that assumes only two options, transition or suicide,” said Jeanette Cooper, who represented the organization Partners for Ethical Care. “Stopping normal puberty, administering wrong sex hormones and removing healthy body parts should never be an option, not in any state.”

Glass couldn't disagree more. She shared the pain she went through during puberty as her then-male body changed in ways she didn't want it to. At the time, she didn't know gender-affirming care was even an option.

Following the discussion, the bill ultimately passed - sending it to the full Senate. Senate President Stivers said to expect some sort of action/vote on the bill Wednesday. It’s not clear if that would be the final Senate vote it sees.

If passed it would go back to the House where they would approve changes. Republican lawmakers only have a select few days to get the bill to Governor Beshear’s desk, before they would lose their opportunity to override his likely veto.

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